When is it Criminal to be a Magician? The Making of a Noir Fantasy: THE LORDS OF POWDER (part 2)

This is part 2 of a series of posts describing how I wrote my noir fantasy, The Lords of Powder (check the book out at Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3aCj8PZ ). 

The story takes place mostly in 1978 Miami where the main character, the magician Bradan, has become a smuggler using his magical talents to evade the authorities and violent rivals. He’s nearly immortal though he only looks 30 years old (he’s aged slowly and is an old soul in a young body). The novel has three flashbacks to other times in his long, chequered life to give readers his backstory – and to provide counterpoint to the novel’s main setting, sunny, corrupt Miami. To that point, the flashbacks allow me to echo the themes in the main story.

One of these flashbacks is set a thousand years ago in tenth-century Spain where Bradan is nearly executed as a sorcerer after unintentionally making enemies of nearly every power broker in the Caliph’s court.

Tenth-century Spain and, more specifically, the Caliphate of Córdoba, is a fascinating setting. This was a period of intrigue, battle, and spiritual passion. Under the Caliph Abd al-Rahman III, it was an imperial realm jockeying with contemporary Christian and Islamic powers amidst religious and political strife for dominion of Spain and the Western Mediterranean, but it was also a center of culture and learning. Indeed, Bradan’s love interest in this flashback – and possible savior – is the poet, scribe, and librarian, Lubna of Córdoba. She was evidently an actual historical figure and is variously described, but appears to have been an accomplished member of the Caliph’s court during this period.

So, my noir fantasy has evolved into a sort of mash-up including historical fantasy along with the noir elements. I think the novel is better for it, but I’ll leave this for readers to judge.

Upcoming posts will tell you about flashbacks in The Lords of Powder set in other intriguing periods in Bradan’s life.

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(image from Pixabay)

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